Risk Factors Affecting Falls among Old Adults in Community: A Systematic Review

  • Kanokwan Silpakampises
  • Sakkarin Suwanwaha
Keywords: Falls, community-dwelling older adults, systematic review


Falls are a marker of frailty, immobility, and acute and chronic health impairment in older persons. This systematic review aimed to provide the best available evidence related to risk factors for falls among community-dwelling older adults. Mixed search methods were used to retrieve English published studies from 2000-2016 through a variety of medical databases. Eligibility criteria specified articles evaluating the association between falls and its risk factors in older adults. A total of 10 studies met inclusion criteria and were included in a systematic review process. All eligible studies were assured of methodological quality prior to data extraction. Data were extracted independently by three reviewers using a written protocol and standardized extraction documentation. Demographic and methodological characteristics of all included studies were initially reviewed and documented. A wide variety of fall risk factors were systematically reviewed including socio-demographic, medical, physical, clinical, psychological, behavioral and environmental factors, and medication use. Based on review, most risk factors were found to be significantly associated with fall occurrence. Moreover, strong associations were found for history of falls, gait problems, walking aids use, vertigo, and antiepileptic drug use. This systematic review identified evidence-based specific falls risk factors by confirming the multi-factorial etiology of falls. Hence, the major findings of this study guide the forthcoming intervention strategies for falls among community-dwelling older adults.


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